EC Clears Modi's 'Corrupt No. 1' Speech Hours After Cong Moved SC Over 'Arbitrary' Clean Chits
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was given a clean chit by the Election Commission for the ninth time on Tuesday after his "bhrashtachari no. 1" speech made at a poll rally in Uttar Pradesh was cleared.
"Prima facie, we did not figure out any literal violation of MCC as given in Election Commission of India instructions. The case is therefore disposed of," ANI quoted the poll panel sources as saying.
The development comes hours after Congress MP Sushmita Dev filed a complaint in the Supreme Court against Modi's remark and the poll panel for its "arbitrary and opaque" clean chits to him.
In an affidavit, Dev, who placed before the apex court various orders of the poll panel on complaints of model code violation against the PM and Amit Shah, said that the Election Commission has passed orders in a "cryptic manner without mentioning any reason whatsoever, in stark violation of the law laid down by this court" while disposing of some complaints.
Speaking at a rally in UP's Pratapgarh on Saturday, the prime minister had taken a dig at Rahul Gandhi, saying, "Your father was termed 'Mr Clean' by his courtiers, but his life ended as 'Bhrashtachari No. 1 (corrupt number 1)'."
Modi's remarks drew widespread condemnation from Congress and other opposition leaders who felt the prime minister lowered the dignity of his office by making such comments about a former PM, who is no longer alive.
While Congress chief Rahul Gandhi replied to him with "love and a huge hug" and said he should wait for his 'karma' to catch up, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee condemned the statement and said Rajiv Gandhi had laid down his life for the motherland.
The BJP, however, said every word Modi had said about Rajiv Gandhi was true and that the Congress chief was rattled due to his party's imminent defeat in Lok Sabha polls. Union minister Prakash Javadekar cited the former prime minister's remarks about the 1984 riots to accuse him of "supporting" the massacre of Sikhs. The senior BJP leader also claimed he was surprised at the reactions of Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra over Modi's remarks.
Earlier, the EC had cleared Modi's Patan speech in which he claimed that his government had kept Pakistan on toes for safe release of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman. His Nanded speech, where he reportedly dubbed the Congress as a 'sinking Titanic', was also given a clean chit, followed by speeches in Latur, Varanasi, Barmer, Wardha, Ahmedabad and Karnataka.
One of the election commissioners, according to sources, even gave a dissenting view in the poll body's decision to give a clean chits to Modi. Reacting to the controversy, two former chief election commissioners had said that every dissent has to be noted in files and the complainant has a right to know whether the order passed by EC was unanimous.
The Election Commission (Conditions of Service of Election Commissioners and Transaction of Business) Act, 1991 states that if the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners differ in opinion on any matter, such matter shall be decided according to the opinion of the majority.
The Commission transacts its business by holding regular meetings and also by circulation of papers. All election commissioners have equal say in the decision making of the poll panel.